Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Vulnerable Truth 2.0

I'm going to get real with y'all today. I usually like to keep it light and fluffy around here, but not today. If you're looking for a laugh, please return tomorrow when I will have a Father's Day post from my dad.

As some of you may or may not remember, I wrote a pretty serious blog post two months ago called
THE VULNERABLE TRUTH. This blog post was terrifying to me. I finally admitted to myself (and the world), in writing, what I had been denying for years.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's a fact, Jack.


I'm not going to lie to you - this shit is hard.

I knew it wasn't going to be sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops; but I wasn't really prepared for the mental battle that I'd be facing.

The first month of my 'new lifestyle' wasn't a whole lot different than what I had previously been doing. Yes, I made changes. Instead of buying lunches 4x per week I was maybe buying it once, or not at all. Yes, I 'worked out' aka I would go for a walk/run - meaning I would do intervals of walking and running. Usually more walking than running, but it was better than nothing.

However, I would still eat toast or a bagel for breakfast every day of the work week.
I would still go out with my friends on Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night and sometimes Sunday (brunch).
I'd have 2-3, or more, drinks when I was out socializing and would think nothing of it.
In my mind, I had admitted that I was fat, therefore I was living a healthier lifestyle. Oh how wrong I was.


I continued to live my lifestyle THE EXACT SAME WAY. I knew this was NOT going to cut it. So I slapped myself mentally and got my butt in gear. No more bread/bagels, no more diet coke, no more oat bars from Starbucks, and no more alcohol. Yep, all of my "fun" foods and drinks GONE. It sucked at first, but it actually made a difference.

I basically was a loser every weekend for the month of May. I wouldn't go out with friends to bars for a drink because I made the decision to cut out alcohol completely. It's not that I can't have fun sober, that's pretty far from the truth. But I didn't trust myself not to cave in and drink with everyone.
I couldn't stomach the thought of working out and then going out for drinks (2 double vodka & diet = 400+ calories). Not to mention any appies or food...
There goes any exercise that I just did. Apart from a few (skinny girl vodka) drinks this past weekend, I haven't had alcohol since April. I'm going to stay on my no-alcohol kick as long as I can. Ideally until the fall... We'll see how that goes.
I just realized that I sound like an alcoholic, but I promise I'm not.

Something that I've learned about myself in this short process is that I've got a lot of mental struggles around losing weight.
I've got the food prep part down, I could be better with some of my food choices but I'm taking it one day at a time.
I'm working out a lot more than I was before - I'm working out 5 days a week now and have noticed a huge increase in my ability to do certain exercises.

But mentally, it's like I'm getting worse instead of improving. Everyone has self doubt, I get that... But for some reason, this is the hardest part of this battle for me. I'm pretty sure that my journey is 40% food, 10% physical activity and 50% mentality. I have noticed time and time again that my head tells me to stop long before my legs, arms, or lungs tell me to stop. And I DON'T KNOW WHY.

One of the hardest things for me to get past is letting people see me workout/sweat. I have friends that try and include me in their healthy lifestyles, but I always find a way to say no. A few examples...

Going for a walk - what if I'm out of breath after only a few blocks and they judge me?
Going for a run - what if I can't run as far and they think I'm weak for wanting to do walking/running intervals.
Going for a hike - what if I am the first one to get tired?
Yoga - what if I fart in class? No seriously, I've thought about this one before.
Zumba - white girls don't have rhythm. I don't want anyone seeing my fat jiggle while I dance/jump around.
Going to the gym - no way, everyone will judge me.

I could go on, but you get the picture. My friends know that I'm trying to lose weight and they will try and include me in their physical activity but I ALWAYS decline. I even had my roommate, Amanda, show me some kettlebell workouts that I could do at home - and I wouldn't even do the moves in front of her so she could check my form.

I'm so uncomfortable with people watching me workout or seeing me sweat that it's almost as if I've formed a complex about it. I don't even go for runs/walks in my neighborhood anymore because I don't want anyone seeing me. When I used to run, I would only go down the alleys. In my mind, this meant that nobody could see me or judge my lack of running abilities.
For the record, I don't know a single person in my neighborhood - they are ALL strangers, yet I worry about them judging me. Why?

I'm extremely jealous of the people who want to lose weight and immediately join the gym and/or hire a personal trainer to help them achieve their fitness goals. I feel like I'm the only person who needs to workout, alone, in the quiet of my own home.
If you think I'm being dramatic, I won't even work out if Amanda is home - we have been best friends for most of our lives, yet I still don't want to be out of breath and sweaty in front of her. What if she sees my workout and judges me for how little I'm doing? Again, these thoughts are insane... I know.

Last night I had an epiphany about this when I went for a walk, I ended up at the park and sat on a bench for about 10 minutes. I was mentally trying to get up the courage to run intervals in the park - I looked around about eleventy billion times to see if anyone was watching me, but I couldn't muster up the courage to do it. I wouldn't let myself leave the park until I ran one 'circuit' around a group of trees and did 25 squats. The moment I finished this 'task', I hightailed it out of the park, just in case anyone saw me. I didn't want to be judged.


This is where I'm at now, friends. I'm probably about 50lbs down from my heaviest weight (I don't know how big I got because I avoided scales at all costs). I am officially down 30lbs from the highest number that I ever remember seeing on the scale.
I went from not being able to do 5 sit-ups without back pain flaring up, to doing 50 sit-ups during a workout (usually 5 reps of 10).
I went from doing no squats, to doing 75 squats and not being able to walk for THREE DAYS, to being able to do 1,000 squats in four days.
These may not be big feats to anyone in the fitness world, but these are my feats and I'm damn proud of them.

I made the decision to write today's (super long, I'm sorry) post because I needed to get these words out of my head and stare at them on this blank page. Every day will be a struggle and I'm fully prepared to handle that - but I needed to document how I'm feeling at this exact moment.

Who knows, maybe a few months from now I will be able to say that this was the old me.


Leah said...

So funkin proud of you Faith! Just purely getting out there and DOING IT (even if it's by hiding in back alleys) is a huge achievement.

Slowly, as you gain your confidence in what you are doing, and the weight that is literally falling off you...then you might start feeling more comfortable exercising in public and with friends. I personally found that putting on a cap and sunglasses helped me a lot when I was first learning to run - I felt like I was more invisible if I shaded my eyes and face. I still don't really like making eye contact with other people on the streets when I am running past them, and sunglasses give me that feeling of anonymity.

Secondly - a personal trainer might sound hugely expensive, but seeing one (only once a week, for 12 weeks) gave me HUGE confidence. Whether it is outside in a park, or in a gym - I felt that this was a person who didn't know me at ALL and if I could just let my guard down with this ONE person, that they could really really help me. And they did - after those 12 weeks, yeah I'd lost some weight, but I also knew my way around the gym like a total boss and felt way more at home.

You can do it Faith, and blogging about it here is 100% the first step to conquering it.

Go get it girl! xx

Brooke said...

Girl, I'm working on a post about this same kinda stuff. You can do it, I have faith in you!

Unknown said...

You are not alone. I hate the idea of people seeing me. I hate the thought that someone is going se my belly or my love handles and laugh. I have so much respect for you! I have known you forever and in my books you have been beautiful every one of those days. Proud of you for doing what you are doing! And mostly for doing it for you.

Unknown said...

This is Abby. Oops it is set to unknown.

Samantha Bender said...

I have always been one of those bitches everyone hates, honestly. I've stayed under 120 my entire life. (Granted I'm a few weeks shy of 20). But I decided after losing my breath after one flight of stairs in front of a UNC basketball player, that I would start being healthier. Not to lose weight, but just to feel better. I'm still terrified of people watching me and judging me! Even though I know I should do weight training, I stare at the muscle man next to me and think about the hilarious story he's going to tell his friends about my failure. I always imagine that the girl on the treadmill next to me is texting her friends about the sweaty, out of breath girl who's only on a speed that barely qualifies as a slow jog/fast walk.

The truth is, people think about me a lot less than I think they are. They probably don't care if I am not using a weight properly, and they probably don't care if I only run for five minutes. I completely agree with you when you say it's mental. It sucks. I wish my brain would switch off for that hour that I'm at the gym.

Good luck to you! You're already making great progress!!

Tracie S said...

Thank you for being so honest! It's amazingly hard to make yourself vulnerable to others! I know I've had moments exactly like yours and never admitted them to anyone.

Lisa said...

Good for you for getting up and doing something... I totally feel you. You can do it!!!!

Jo Steel said...

I'll keep telling you - this is one heck of an achievement. Already. Everything starts somewhere. Losing weight is HARD ... and you deserve the kudos for doing it.

Novak Jim said...

Great article! I think a squat is one of the best physical activities to lose weight fast and get a smart and beautiful body. Keep it up.back and neck pain bergen county , low back pain bergen county